Our advice

Moving to Spain or any other foreign country is not like moving to another part of the UK. There are a lot of things to ask yourself before making your decision.

  • how will you cope with being so far away from your friends and relatives?
  • will you be able to survive without English newspapers and TV?
  • are you willing to embrace a very different type of culture?
  • will you be willing and able to learn a new language?
  • do you really like hot summers?
  • can you cope without the type of shops you have been used to?

The southern coast of Spain is well served by airports so getting back to the UK is not a major problem. However it isn't like getting in the car and driving a few hours down the road. Apart from the time taken to travel back to the UK there is the cost which varies according to the time of year. Of course, if the people you want to keep in touch with are on the Internet (preferably using broadband), then you can always use one of the Instant Messaging services to create a video link. Other than that you have to use phone calls and letters to maintain contact.

Although you can buy English newspapers they are a lot more expensive and are only available in areas where there are a lot of English people living. You can get Sky in Spain using a large satellite dish to pull it in but it will cost over 1000 euros to install and you may not get all the channels.

The way of life is very different. For example you may find it very infuriating that shops are closed during siesta time and that shopping on Sundays is near impossible. The bureaucracy is very different and can be very confusing to English people.

Of course you don't have to learn Spanish to live in Spain. Not to be able to converse in the native language does put you at a great disadvantage though. Imagine the reverse situation - how would a Spaniard cope in England if they decided not to learn English?

If you really don't like hot summers and sun then Spain is not the place to be. There is no escaping the heat except by staying indoors with the air conditioning running full blast.

Of course you can find shops that sell English goods but at a price.If you really can't live without baked beans and HP sauce then living in Spain is going to be dearer than in the UK. You won't find Marks and Spencer, Boots, Sainsbury's and Asda or even their equivalent in Spain.

Moving to a Spanish town means making some big changes to your life. If you are not ready to make those changes then you are probably better of living in one of the large English urbanisations. There you have shops and bars where you can buy all the things you are used to. You have English neighbours with whom you can socialise. You will even find English workmen to do the jobs that you want doing.

On the other hand if you are ready for a major life change and you want to benefit from the quality of life that Spain has to offer then a Spanish town is where you need to look . Back







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